Gastric Bypass – Everything You Should Know!

Gastric Bypass – Everything You Should Know!


By Dr. Satish Pattanshetti, General Surgery

Gastric Bypass is also known as Roux-en-Y. It is one of the most aggressive measures for weight loss. Doctors resort to this measure when exercise, diet, and lifestyle modifications are not contributing to significant weight loss. This is a surgical procedure through which the size of the stomach is reduced to lower the food intake and therefore bring down obesity.

After this surgery, people feel full with less food and therefore can bring down their weight appreciably. After the surgery, food would bypass a portion of the small intestine and a large part of the stomach. Since food does not enter these parts, the body is not able to absorb all the nutrients provided by food. Since the body does not get all the calories, the rate of deposition of fat comes down. Eventually, the person may start losing weight.

Why Is It Done?

Gastric Bypass is generally performed to help a person reduce excess body weight. It can also be done to lower the risk of several problems related to obesity. Some of them are:

  1. Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  2. High cholesterol
  3. Heart disease
  4. High blood pressure
  5. Obstructive sleep apnea
  6. Infertility
  7. Type 2 diabetes
  8. Stroke

This surgery will show effective results with a healthy diet and exercise.

Procedure of Gastric Bypass Surgery:

Prior to the surgery, the patient is anesthetized with general anaesthesia. Thereafter, the surgery is conducted in two steps. In the first step, the stomach is operated upon to make it smaller and in the second step, surgery is conducted to bypass the small intestine.

The surgeon divides the stomach into two sections: upper and lower with the help of staples. The upper section is quite small, often the size of a walnut, and it is referred to as a pouch. This is where the food that a person eats would go. It is capable of holding just about 1 ounce of food. This is the step in the operation which brings down food intake and therefore helps in losing weight.

In the second step, the surgeon connects the pouch to a small portion of the small intestine. As a result of this, food travels from the pouch into the small intestine. After this procedure, the body will absorb less calories.

Types Of Gastric Bypass Surgery:

Gastric Bypass surgery can be done both openly and laparoscopically. In the open procedure, the surgeon makes a large incision into the abdomen. The bypass is created by first creating the pouch and then connecting the small intestine to it.

In the laparoscopy procedure, the laparoscope with the camera is placed into the abdominal cavity through a small incision. The doctor can visualize the entire abdominal area in a monitor with the help of this tool. The surgeon needs to make 4 to 6 small incisions in the belly.


Nevertheless, everybody is not fit for a Gastric Bypass. The patient needs to meet certain criteria. His or her Body Mass Index must be 40 or higher. Even if the BMI is below 40 the doctor may go for  Gastric Bypass surgery if he perceives that aggressive weight loss measures are urgently needed to control health complications like diabetes, sleep apnea, or high blood pressure.